Back to All Events

Darius Jones: Shades of Black

  • Firehouse 12 45 Crown Street New Haven, CT, 06510 United States (map)

On October 26, alto saxophonist and composer Darius Jones will return to Firehouse 12, presenting new music with an all-star unrecorded quintet, in a project he calls Shades of Black. Jones writes, "this ensemble will explore the partial or total absence of light, and the artistry within a dark spectrum. A lack of light can bring about feelings of uncertainty or fear of the unknown, causing some to perceive black or dark things as devoid of beauty and having a certain negative connotation. While these feelings exist, we as humans find darkness alluring and even flirt with its mysterious and sensuous qualities. Throughout history, artists of all mediums have created emotionally and visually dark works to evoke impressions of fear, evil, or madness. In the large black textured surface of Chiyu Uemae’s oil painting, 'Untitled,' I discovered how rich an environment absent of light could be. I found myself standing in front of the painting and asking, 'What would this sound like?'"

Shades of Black features an alto and soprano saxophone front-line with a richly textured rhythm section of Chad Taylor on drums and musical polymath Cooper Moore on Hammond organ. Percussionist Michael Wimberly joins the group on this string of performances. Writing in The Wire, Philip Clark said "Jones' concept is proudly his own. His music poses big questions about the relationship between the African-American tradition of spirituals, blues and gospel, and now." In a review in the New York times, Giovanni Russonello wrote that Jones is "[t]he most visceral and distinctive alto saxophonist of this era."

Over the past decade, Darius Jones has created a recognizable voice as a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer by embracing individuality and innovation in the tradition of African-American music. Darius has brought his unique sound to dozens of cities around the United States, Canada and Europe. The New York Times named Jones among the Best Live Jazz Performances of 2017 for his Vision Festival performance with Farmers by Nature.

Learn more at:

Featuring: Darius Jones (alto saxophone), Cooper Moore (organ), Sam Newsome (soprano saxophone), Chad Taylor (drums).

Earlier Event: October 19
James Brandon Lewis Trio
Later Event: October 27
Pianist Eric Genuis